If you’re looking for the best magnetic tiles for your child, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through exactly what to look for when buying magnetic tiles, and how to know which ones are the best.
Read on to find out the key areas to consider when you’re making a purchase of magnetic tiles.
Whether you’re wanting to buy a set for the first time or simply expand and upgrade your existing collection, make sure you check out this quick guide!
Why buy magnetic tiles?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already pretty convinced about the amazing range of benefits that kids magnetic toys like magnet tiles have to offer.
Just in case you’re not quite there yet, here are some of our favourite things about magnetic building tiles:
- An endless source of fun and creative play that will excite any child’s imagination
- Unlimited possibilities for building countless unique shapes, models and pictures (both 2D and 3D) – even with a smaller starter set
- Excellent for developing fine motor skills and gross motor skills
- Provides a calming activity that can relieve anxiety and help both kids and adults decompress
- Gives an opportunity to practise problem-solving, thinking ahead, thinking outside the box, critical thinking and more
- Offers a way to explore key learning concepts for younger children like identifying colours and shape recognition
- Widely celebrated for keeping kids occupied for hours on end (literally!)
- Suitable for different age groups, even younger kids aged 3 and up
- Can be used to enhance a wide range of sensory experiences, including when used with a light table, alongside classic wooden blocks and more.
To name just a few!
So now we’ve covered some of the reasons you might want to add magnet tiles to your toy collection at school or at home, let’s get into what to look for in the best magnetic tiles.
What all of the best magnetic tiles have in common
Let’s address the elephant in the room – at SUPA STEM we are proud to offer our own growing range of magnetic tile toys.
Yes, our own kids love them, and yes, we think they’re pretty awesome.
But we’ve kept this magnetic tiles guide as neutral as we can because we want educators and families to get the best possible information about these popular magnetic toys.
We’ve not just based this checklist on our own opinions either. We’ve scoured 1000s of genuine reviews of dozens of the top magnetic tiles brands so we can let you know exactly what to look for (and what to avoid).
Here’s what to look for when buying your own magnetic tiles set (some of these might surprise you!).
The best magnetic toy tiles are safety-tested
We’ve started with this one because it’s undoubtedly the most important one on the list.
We all want our kids to be safe at all times, and their toys are the last thing we should have to worry about.
That’s why it’s vital you check that your chosen brand clearly states that their magnetic toys meet all the highest safety standards for your part of the world.
If a particular magnetic tiles brand only states one part of the world, for example, the US or the UK, you can probably be pretty confident that they also meet the toy safety standards for your part of the world too.
They may just not have mentioned it for the sake of time or space.
All the best magnetic toys are also independently tested for safety, which means the brand has arranged for independent experts to make sure that the toy is safe.
These experts will conduct various rigorous tests to ensure the toy stands up to kids’ play and remains safe.
Here are some of the main features that premium magnetic tiles sets will have that other tiles and cheaper blocks may not:
- Advanced technologies to keep the magnets safely inside
- Rounded edges on the magnetic tiles to protect little hands and eyes
- Clean magnetic tiles that arrive in good condition and without any dirt or chemical substances from the manufacturing process remaining
- BPA-free plastic that is certified safe for use in children’s toys
The top magnetic blocks brands have secure magnets
This point is really part of the first one, but this element of safety is so important that we’ve given it its own section so we can walk you through it a little further.
All magnetic tiles have small magnets inside which allow the tiles to connect to each other.
Every parent knows that magnets can be extremely dangerous for children if swallowed, so the last thing any seller of magnetic tiles wants to happen is for magnets to be easily coming loose and escaping from their product.
There are a number of ways that manufacturers secure the magnets inside the magnetic tiles.
The least reliable way to do this is by simply gluing each side of the tile together. Glue can fail and this can lead to the magnets escaping.
Most magnetic tiles brands offering high-quality toys have their magnetic tiles secured using a highly specialised process in which the two sides of the tile are permanently fused together using advanced ultrasonic techniques.
Good brands will often highlight how their tiles are secured in their product description.
The reality is that even with the best quality tiles and the most rigorous testing, there is no way to 100% be sure that a magnet won’t come out of a tile.
When hundreds of thousands of tiles are being made and sold every year, even the best brands will find that a very small number of damaged tiles slip through quality control and may find their way into homes.
That’s why all good magnetic tiles suppliers should clearly state in their guidance that children should always be supervised when playing with any magnetic toy, including magnetic blocks and tiles.
Once you’ve bought your set, make sure you check through it carefully to make sure each tile is in good condition and the magnets inside are secure.
Always ask yourself the question ‘Are those magnetic tiles safe?’
Better magnetic blocks are made of high-quality materials
The main benefit of purchasing quality magnetic tiles is safety, which we’ve addressed above.
All magnetic tiles will pick up some wear and tear as your children play with them – we’ve found there’s not a single brand out there that doesn’t.
However, magnetic tiles made of durable plastic will also help to reduce cosmetic scratching and accidental damage.
The best brands also have quality magnetic tiles with strong magnets that work with different shapes, to give greater flexibility when building models.
The best magnetic tiles have strong magnets
This is one of the most important features to look for in any brand of magnet tiles set.
As pretty as your kids’ new magnetic toy might seem, any excitement will quickly turn to disappointment if your kids discover they can’t actually build anything with it!
Believe it or not, not all magnetic toys brands use the same strength of magnets inside their products. Some will try to cut their costs by using weaker magnets.
The problem with this is that these magnets simply won’t hold models together.
Any model built with magnetic tiles will fall apart if you place enough pressure on it – there’s no way to avoid that even with the best brands.
However, the better the magnets, the better your kids’ creations will hold. Weak magnets just won’t be able to keep more than a few tiles together at a time.
That’s why strong magnets are really important, especially if your kids are a bit heavy-handed or like to create moving creations on magnetic wheels.
The best magnetic tiles for kids will have powerful magnets inside that will allow kids to build all kinds of models, including tall towers, castles, vehicles and more.
Good magnetic building blocks have bright colours
This is definitely an aesthetic one, but anyone who’s seen just how stunning magnetic building tiles can look in the sunlight will agree that it’s nonetheless something to consider.
There is a very wide range of colours available and magnetic tiles can come in all shapes and sizes.
You can even find pastel or completely clear tiles.
Your best bet, however, is almost always to go with a set that offers a full range of brightly coloured tiles.
This will give your kids more options for fun play – plus who doesn’t love everything rainbow themed?
Most magnetic tiles brands won’t be able to promise a specific number of different colours as each set will be hand-packed.
However, be sure to take a good look at their product photos (as well as reviews) to check if you can expect their sets to contain a wide range of colours.
Other magnetic tiles of lower quality may have a faded and lacklustre appearance.
High-quality magnetic building blocks have fun accessories
Of course, you can often buy additional expansion packs with more tiles and accessories to level up your magnetic tiles set.
That can be a great way to tailor your set to your child’s interests and build an extensive collection they’ll never tire of.
However, especially if you’re buying your first magnetic tile set, you’ll want to make sure it includes a decent variety of pieces.
This may include the following:
- A magnetic car or train base that allows you to attach wheels to your models (this is a MUST in our opinion!)
(If your existing set didn’t come with one of these or your kids are always fighting over having to share one, you can grab more here)
- Tiles of different shapes including at least 2 geometric shapes, designs and patterns, for example window-shaped or arch-shaped
- Other fun and educational add-ons. For example, SUPA Tiles magnetic tile sets come with a set of magnetic dry-wipe squares that attach to any square magnetic tiles. We also include a dry-wipe pen. This allows kids to get creative writing numbers and letters or drawing onto the tiles to customise their magnetic creations.
You should also ask yourself how many magnetic tiles are included in the particular set to are about to purchase.
Even a small set can be a good way to start, but are there enough different pieces for your kids to have fun building?
The best magnetic building tiles come with storage
Any kind of kids’ construction toy can be difficult to keep tidy because of all the different parts involved.
That’s why, whilst other magnetic tile sets might only sell their products in flimsy packaging that can’t be reused, all good brands will include some kind of reusable storage solution.
One of the best options for storing magnetic tiles is a simple but handy storage bag with a drawstring opening to keep the contents from escaping.
This will make your magnetic tile collection far more portable too, making it a great choice for holidays and long journeys!
Premium magnet building tiles sets come with model ideas
This element of a good magnetic tiles set can be really under-looked.
We’ve found so many families have ended up opting to purchase a set of SUPA Tiles magnetic tiles for kids simply because we’ve gone out of our way to provide a LOT of ideas to inspire kids as they play.
Each set of our magnet building tiles toys comes with dozens of ideas of different models kids can build.
Inside every SUPA Tiles set is a poster with an inspirational message, lots of fun 2D and 3D model ideas and even a link to watch full instruction videos for these models if kids need a little more help.
You’ll find there are other brands out there who also include a booklet or instruction leaflet with their magnetic tiles sets too (though we’ve yet to find a poster or set of videos like ours).
If you think your kids may need a little more help or encouragement, then checking what support your chosen brand offers is an important step you won’t want to skip.
If you can’t easily find out the answer to this from looking at their product descriptions, the chances are that these other brands simply won’t deliver when it comes to additional support for your child’s creativity.
All the top magnetic tiles are compatible
This is a quick one but worth mentioning as you may not otherwise have considered it.
The best magnetic tiles are compatible with each other overall, which means that shapes of the same kind should be about the same size.
This allows you to mix and match sets together if you do happen to have an existing set or be gifted one from another brand in the future.
Some sneaky tiles manufacturers will promote their toys using images that make them appear to be the same size, but when you receive the product you discover they have made them much smaller in order to cut costs.
If you were hoping to use them to expand an existing collection, this can be particularly disappointing.
That’s why we recommend checking to see if your chosen brand clearly states that their tiles are generally compatible with the standard size of magnetic tiles on the market.
What is the best brand of magnetic tiles?
In summary, the best choice of magnet building tiles for you is likely going to tick all or at least most of the boxes on our list.
Other brands are likely to disappoint. They may not last the test of time or simply never work properly at all.
Whilst everyone has their own tastes and preferences, the thousands of real reviews we’ve combed through have revealed that pretty much everyone agrees on the elements we’ve included in this checklist.
So be sure to bookmark this guide and share with friends and family to help them make a purchase they are happy with too!
We hope this quick guide helps you make the right decision for your family when purchasing your first or any additional magnetic tiles set!